Sleigh the Holidays – A Nutrition Survival Guide in 7 Steps

with Hay-Gurl Hayward

The Steps:

Step 1. Welcome!
Step 2. What’s Your Number?
Step 3. Why are You Doing This?
Step 4. Mindset
Step 5. Travel Prep
Step 6. During the Trip
Step 7. Troubleshooting

Special Note:

This Guide will take you anywhere from 2 minutes to 1 hour to read – it all depends on how in depth you’re looking to go.

There is a Section Summary posted at the top of each of the following sections, which will allow you to get an immediate understanding of what we cover in that section.

In Step 2, we establish three levels of commitment to change. If you complete each of the Action Assignments listed in following sections, this course will take you approximately 20 minutes to go through if you’re a Beginner, 30 minutes if you’re an Intermediate, and 40 or more minutes if you’re an Advanced physique builder.

Step 1. WELCOME! 

Section Summary: I provide the framework for the Guide, and introduce you to the importance of self-belief on this journey. I suggest using a journal – electronic, or old-school – to complete assignments in this Guide. 

Hi! I’m Branden Hayward. I’m an online physique coach who helps people around the world earn their DreamBody – anytime, anywhere. I love Katy Perry, Fire Island, junk food, feeling my damn self, and so much more. 

You’re reading a step-by-step tutorial that aims to solve one of the biggest obstacles my clients struggle with. That is: maintaining regular, regimented eating habits – or coming close – while out of the comfort of their regular routine. 

And as Snoop Dogg raps at the opening of Katy Perry’s California Gurls

Greetings, loved ones. Let’s take a journey … 

A little more about me: I still battle perfectionism, darkness, and intense self-doubt. From personal experience, I know that I have the power to move through these difficult, repetitive feelings, and that I am able to develop and rely on tools to shorten and reduce the pain. You have this same ability.

It is very important to remember to be gentle with yourself throughout this entire process.

Also, I want you to understand that being loving and gentle with yourself goes hand in hand with challenging yourself to do things that are uncomfy.

You will need to make sacrifices to see the change you desire. My experience has unequivocally shown that what I “sacrifice” to earn my DreamBody is always worth it. That is, in part, because I don’t try to sacrifice the wrong things – relationships, sleep, joy, etc. Instead, I sacrifice old, ill-fitting habits.

During this process, you will be uncomfortable, henni. This will either be due to a) the inconvenience of change, b) or due to the discomfort that comes from wanting to change, but not having the willingness. 

If you decide to reach out directly for help, now or in the future, I promise to always treat you the way I would want to be treated. This means I will give you a constant flow of validation, support, and empathy.  I will also push you as hard as you are willing to be pushed.

“If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve gotta do some things you’ve never done.”

Fab. Now that we’ve laid out what’s happening here, I wanna offer some instructions as you go through the this Guide. Each section begins with a Summary, which will help you understand what you’re about to dive into. For those of you who aren’t looking to invest more than a quick glance at some pointers, feel free to just read the Summaries, and the Troubleshooting Guide at the very end. 

It goes without saying that you’ll get much more out of this if you read the entire document. But something is better than nothing, and this is your journey!

I suggest using a journal – electronic, or old-school – to complete assignments in this Guide. Consider titling it ‘DreamBody Journal with Branden,’ to give yourself a simple, profound way to remind yourself that you’re pursuing your DreamBody, and that you’re never alone on this journey. 




Section Summary: I help you establish your level of commitment to change, on a scale of 1 to 10. Knowing this number will inform which advice you pay attention to in future sections. 


Please take into consideration that change requires sacrifice. The good news is that when certain sacrifices are made day in and day out – or at some other designated, consistent interval – those actions stop feeling like sacrifices after a while. This is because they have now become habits. So, my point is, sacrifices won’t feel like sacrifices forever!


An important question to ask yourself now is: how committed are you to see your muscle mass increase, and/or your body fat decrease? Let’s use a scale of 1 to 10. 


A “10” is someone who’s committed to doing whatever it takes, aside from hurting themself or others, to build muscle and/or lose fat, and then sustain those changes. A level “10” commitment means that the individual’s goals do not melt away when they travel, and the individual is willing to stick with and prioritize their commitment to body recomposition (more muscle, less body fat) even when it gets hard and is inconvenient; even when it requires planning, discomfort, extra effort, and sacrifice. 


A “1” is someone who is not yet ready to make and sustain any changes in their lifestyle to see their physique change.  


Honesty is of the utmost importance. There is no right or wrong number. This is your journey – not mine, not anyone else’s. 


ACTION ASSIGNMENT: All right, so what is your number? Write it down in your DreamBody Journal. 



Section Summary: I provide with you some tools to help you increase your level of commitment, if you wish to do so.


Now, if your number is lower than what you would like it to be, first of all, I have to say congratulations. This means you’re honest with yourself. You didn’t just say a number that was inauthentic. That is important, and commendable. Genuinely! 


That’s not to say that if you’re happy with your number, you are therefore being dishonest. 


This next part applies specifically to people who want to raise their commitment level, at least 1 point higher than it currently is. 


However, I would offer that everyone, even those who are already at a 9 or 10 out of 10 committed to changing, will still benefit from this section. That is because writing down your priorities and visualizing how an improved physique will feed each of those life priorities, will only reinforce motivation to change. 


Here we go. 


What are your top 3 life priorities right now?


They may be specific, measurable objectives – “make $150,000 in 2020,” – and they may also be as simple as  “my partner.”


(Note: I’m not asking what society, your family, or your friends have told you your priorities should be. 


I am instead asking what your visceral truth is. What do you constantly daydream about? How have your biggest insecurities have manifested into goals? What lights up your heart and your belly?) 


In case it’s helpful, mine are:


  1. Autonomy  (for me, this encompasses mental health, sobriety, financial stability)
  2. Becoming one of the most successful gay novelists of my generation in America 
  3. Building my physique


ACTION ASSIGNMENT Let’s do this! Write down your top 3 priorities in your DreamBody Journal. 


(No one else needs to see this, if you aren’t ready for that. At the same time, you are very welcome to write me and share them with me, or a loved one. This helps us practice owning our desires.) 


Wrote all three down?


Great work! 


Now, I wanna offer some food for thought. Most folks’ biggest priorities are some combination of the following:


  1. Career advancement 
  2. Realizing dreams 
  3. Relationships
  4. Financial abundance 
  5. Travel 
  6. Physical/mental health 


I’ve noticed that many of my clients view their biggest priorities as impediments towards reaching their self-care and physique goals. 


Now, from one angle, I completely get it:


Time spent on exercise, meal shopping/prep, therapy, and meditation can conflict with the obligations we have to our family, our job, and our social commitments. There are days and periods of times when our commitments to others, and to paying the bills, will cause our self-care and physique aspirations to be put on the shelf. I’ve been there, too. 


But, it’s our choice whether those times are temporary (few and far between), or a way of life. 


If it’s the latter for you, and you’d like to change that, I invite you to reframe the way you look at your priorities. With a little journaling and perspective, you’ll discover that most, if not all, of your priorities will be furthered by advancing your physique and self-care goals!

Let’s go down the list that I provided above. 


One. Career advancement. Rising through the ranks of any industry requires self-belief, risk-taking, patience, discipline, and long-term commitment. Each of those traits are developed, tested, and ultimately strengthened in a journey of physique enhancement. 


Two. Realizing dreams. (Starting a business or family, buying a home, or taking up a true passion.) Realizing dreams requires all of the qualities listed in One, plus a whole lot of self-love and audacity. Self-love and audacity are grown organically when you wake up, day after day, to a constantly healthier, stronger, hotter version version of yourself (the byproduct of a structured fitness and self-care regimen.)


Three. Relationships. We can’t give from an empty cup. The stronger, happier, more relaxed, and more confident that we are, the better able we are to share those qualities with our loved ones. Strength, happiness, relaxation and confidence are all physiological and psychological side effects of chemicals such as endorphins, testosterone, and growth hormone released from exercise. We also constantly gain more confidence, happiness, and inner strength as we notice our bodies gain muscle and lose fat. 


Four. Financial abundance. Earning, keeping and growing money  – just like career advancement – requires a big-picture strategy, tenacity, willingness for delayed gratification and willingness to ask for help. This focus on the marathon, versus the sprint, is a perspective that develops when one persists in a physique-building quest


Five. Travel. You have to be confident, have a sense of adventure, and have an open mind to enjoy traveling. 


The process of building your body, while ultimately exhilarating, rewarding and empowering, is also full of surprises, let-downs, and messiness.  Adapting to the roller coaster of physique enhancement teaches us to roll with the punches, acquire humility, develop a sense of humor, and plan ahead. These qualities are essential for enjoying continued journeys to foreign places.  


Six. Physical / mental health. This priority is the one that most literally, clearly and immediately applies to building our physique and improving our self-care.  


ACTION ASSIGNMENT: Take a total of just five minutes (feel free to set a timer on your smartphone!) to free-write in your DreamBody Journal. Here’s the topic: How will your biggest three life priorities be furthered, developed & realized by improving your physique and self-love? 


When we see in our own handwriting how building our bodies will actually build our lives, bank accounts, and relationships … it makes it a lot trickier to keep using the same excuses as to why we don’t have time for our DreamBody. 


ACTION ASSIGNMENT: Write down, one more time in your Journal, your level of commitment to changing your physique, on a scale of 1 to 10. 


Step 4. MINDSET 


Section Summary: I give you a mental framework to work with as you prepare for your holidays / travels, based on your level of commitment to change. 


I’ve written advice for three various levels of commitment. 


Each of the levels correspond to the 1 through 10 scale, gauging your level of commitment to building + maintaining muscle gain and/or fat loss.  


The Beginner 

Commitment Level: 1-6 out of 10 


Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to embark on a fact-finding and fact-facing mission during this trip. You may be tempted to give yourself multiple assignments, change four habits at once, or otherwise bite off more than you can chew (pun intended). I highly advise against that. I advise you to stick just with the suggestions offered in your corresponding sections. Trying to do more may be unrealistic and will just reinforce the thought pattern that this process is too overwhelming and progress can’t be made. No. You’re in a marathon, not a sprint, and we need you to treat it as such. OK? OK. 🙂 


This isn’t about changing your habits today, or even tomorrow. Instead, it’s about increasing your self-awareness around your habits. That way, you will be prepared to honestly address what’s working and what’s not working, and you’ll be better poised to move on to a more advanced level, should that interest you. 


Again, you are in a marathon, not a sprint, and we have to walk before we can run. 


The Intermediate 

Commitment Level : 7-8 out of 10 


You’re going to be holding yourself to some specific standards while on this trip, and discomfort will be involved. You will need to plan in advance to hit your target. If you don’t feel comfortable explaining to your hosts / business partners / family that you have specific dietary restrictions, you’ll need to bring or get access to food and snacks of your own, to provide a buffer against unstructured eating. You aren’t mandated to log your food or have specific macronutrient goals in advance, although you are welcome to employ one or both of these strategies if it does not feel overwhelming to do so.


You’ve committed to seeing significant changes in your body over time, and it’s possible to both enjoy yourself and stick to your goals while on this trip – remember that. 


The Advanced 

Commitment Level : 9-10 out of 10 


You will definitely need to bring or obtain – and then consume – specific food goods while on your trip. The people you’re around will almost certainly notice that you’re on a regimented eating pattern. If this something that they don’t already know about you, or you think they will give you a hard time about, remember the priorities that you established earlier in this tutorial. Why are you making these efforts? 


Most people won’t care very much about what you’re eating, one way or the other. Some exceptions could be people are already insecure about their own eating / drinking, or the people who have put the most effort into preparing the meals. The person/people who have been gracious enough to work to make/secure you food can be assured – and shown – that you are looking forward to enjoying portions from many of the dishes served. There is a way to do this without derailing your diet.  


Out of necessity, you’ll end up integrating your own food and habits with the food and habits of the people around you. I highly, highly recommend crossing off your list as many nutritional goals – ie, protein, fiber, veggies – as early in the day as possible. 


If you can keep 75% or more of your typical home eating habits, you’ll consider this trip a success. If you don’t hit that target on a given day, don’t beat yourself up or let a downward spiral of “the trip is ruined” begin. More so than the Beginner or Intermediate, you’re the most likely to be Type A about your regimen, and you need to accept in advance that things will not go perfectly. You also need to know that’s not a reason to not get right back on the horse. You can start your day over at any time. Each day – each hour, even – is a new chance to recommit to your goals. 


Keep in mind, you may be modeling inspiring behavior to a colleague or loved one. You’re not being selfish. You’re practicing self-care, and leading by example. 




Section Summary: I offer suggestions on what you can do before you travel, based on your level of commitment to change. 



ACTION ASSIGNMENT: In your DreamBody Journal, write down, and commit to, one goal for the trip.  




“Take two twenty minute walks over the course of the week.”


“Have a check in with my friend _______ via text two times while I’m gone, letting them know how I’m feeling about my food choices on the trip, and what I’m learning about myself, and might want to do differently next time.”


“Wait 10 minutes after dinner before eating dessert.” 


“Sit down for at least two thirds of my meals.”



Pack protein powder. 


Pack a fiber supplement. (I take psyllium husk fiber powder – take at your own risk.) 


Do the math to bring enough of both for the duration of your trip. These can be transported in Blender Bottles. I have often been stopped at the airport security X-Ray and had my supplements scanned (which can take several extra minutes), but they have always let me through with them once they finished their scan.


Tell at least one close, trusted friend that you’ll be traveling and may need emotional/mental support. Be prepared to actually reach out to this person if your emotions, eating or drinking begin to spiral. 




  1. Pick one day that you’ll let yourself go “ham” and have no restrictions. This will give you something wonderful to look forward to, while providing motivation to stay relatively on – track on your other days. 


  1. Bring as much of your own food with you, if you have the luxury of being able to do so (ie: if you’re driving, if the amount of food does not limit your ability to travel with it, etc.). 


If you do not have this ability, or if you need certain perishable goods (veggies, juices, etc.) that cannot travel well, research the area you’re going to. Use Google Maps. Are there any vaguely healthy grocery stores near the transportation hub you’ll be arriving into? Budget 1-3 hours, depending on distance and whether you’ll have access to a car, to visit the best option. Stock up.


  1. Also, research in advance what equipment you will have access to – will you have a blender? A can opener? A stove top?  A fridge? Mini fridge with no freezer? The more you can learn, the better you can prepare.


  1. As a last resort, travel with protein powder. Do the math to bring enough for the duration of your trip. These can be transported in Blender Bottles. I have often been stopped at the airport security X-Ray and had my supplements scanned (which can take several extra minutes), but they have always let me through with them once they finished their scan.


Of course, there are other wonderful, clever ways to workaround travel challenges! And I’m protein – obsessed, but you can replace my protein obsession with any special dietary consideration, know what I mean?


Ultimately, you have to just ask yourself: “What is more important to me? Reaching my DreamBody, or not exerting extra time and energy?”




Section Summary: What to do once you’re actually on your trip. 



Try to ensure that you are sitting down for the majority of your meals. 


Try eating to ‘satisfied,’ instead of ‘stuffed.’ 


Try to include a portion of lean protein with every meal. (A portion of protein is roughly the size of a deck of cards, or the palm of your hand.)


Focus on trying to “eat the rainbow” at the table — focus first on foods that are not white, yellow or brown. In other words, go for fruits, veggies, and other things directly from the earth. 


See if you can hit the goal that you wrote for yourself before you left for the trip. 


When you have the urge to overeat, try to take a minute or two and pause, reflecting on what emotions are coming up for you. Are you lonely? Afraid? Triggered by a certain person, conversation point? Or, are you just bored? See if you do something to address the feeling before you reach for the food. For example, would calling a friend, taking a walk, seeing how you can help those around you … help you address the underlying feelings? Begin to ask yourself to differentiate between physical hunger, and emotional hunger. 


Understand that the food industry has poured a tremendous amount of resources into developing cheap, easily accessible products that our taste buds – and our brains – just can’t say ‘no’ to. These foods are often the highest in calories and lowest in nutritional value. It’s really unfair and cruel, in my opinion. But there is good news – with a little commitment and forethought, we can beat this system. 


Be easy and loving with yourself. I still reach for things outside of me – music, caffeine, sugar, sex, porn, fantasy – on a regular basis when I’m not feeling happy. And despite difficult moments, I generally am a happy person who has developed an incredible body, strong relationships, and takes care of himself. If I can do it, you can too. It’s about balance and progress, not extremes or perfection. There’s going to be bumps along the road. There’s no need to let bumps turn into craters. 




Read the suggestions offered to those at the Beginner level, above.


When you feel yourself having a craving, or a food/alcohol fantasy begins to overtake you, pull out your DreamBody Journal and write down your emotional state. Again, we are looking to see if certain triggers are popping up. 


Has a certain family member or friend entered the room? Is there a certain topic of discussion that’s just been raised? Were you just reading about a certain issue in the news? Are you wandering into historical thoughts and self doubt? Self-knowledge can go a long way in arming yourself with tools to navigate future situations, even if this one feels like it’s already a foregone conclusion. (It’s completely fine to journal even after you’ve indulged a craving. As I love to say, we are in a marathon, not a sprint. This is a practice, and if you can improve even 2% with each future trip, then after a handful of trips, you’ll be substantially different in your habits!)


Utilize those friend/s that you recruited before the trip to be available by text or phone for emotional support. If all is going well, tell them that. If it isn’t, tell them that too. This can be done discreetly through text or you can have full-on phone conversations, whichever makes the most sense for you. 


Connecting with someone else, and being reassured that you aren’t alone, goes a long way towards helping calm anxious thoughts that may seem at first like they can only be remedied by eating / drinking in excess. 


See the Troubleshooting section below if you are facing challenges not addressed here. 




Read the suggestions offered above to those at the Beginner and Intermediate levels. 


Be sure to enjoy the hell out of your cheat day, which you established before your trip! 


The chances are very strong that you already have some practice in logging your food, if you aren’t currently recording it every day. 


One of the biggest concerns that I hear clients report, especially when it comes to eating on the weekends and while traveling, is that they don’t know how to log certain foods. 


My motto: it’s better to get food logging 80% correct, than to skip logging altogether out of fear for not getting it perfect.  


Having specific macronutrient goals to hit (that is, a daily quota/limit of protein, carbohydrates, and fat) – and hitting them – can be two extremely effective ways of of physique transformation. 


I use the app My Fitness Pal to track my food intake on a daily basis, and I encourage my clients to do the same. 


For help with this, see the Troubleshooting section, below, and read the section titled “How do I log mystery food?” 


Then, I suggest reading the rest of the Troubleshooting section, as well. 




“I just can’t seem to slow or enjoy my eating. It all happens so fast.”


It’s easier to overeat when food is easy to chew. Remember, focus first on eating the rainbow – foods that come directly from the earth, with little to no processing or added ingredients. When it does come time to move on to foods that are white, yellow or brown, try to start with proteins. Protein takes much longer to chew than baked goods, desserts, mashed potatoes, etc. 


“I have absolutely zero say in the food that’s available to me. Help.”


At a restaurant? Ask the waiter for help finding the most veggie-laden, lean protein-heavy dish, that’s also ideally low-fat. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and ask if they can create a dish or hobble together several sides, if necessary.


Catered event / spread / cafeteria food / family meal? See if you can apply my suggestions from the guest-in-someone’s-home scenario, below.


“I’m a guest in someone else’s home and don’t want to rock the boat.”


  1. See if you can contribute to the meal by bringing a lean protein dish. 


Not possible? Keep reading.


  1. If it’s a local trip, eat protein at home shortly before you head out to the meal. If you’re staying with someone, this is still technically possible in some scenarios – I have wolfed down some canned chicken in my room before going to a family function before. But I’m a weirdo like that. This doesn’t sound practical to you? I don’t blame you. But keep reading.


  1. You may not feel comfortable “sneaking” food in … or you may not have enough privacy … or you may have taken a flight, which doesn’t allow canned foods in checked on baggage, and you don’t have access to a car when landing, or time to go grocery shop.


In these cases, don’t stress.


As stated before, focus on trying to “eat the rainbow” at the table — that is, foods that are NOT white, yellow or brown. Go for fruits, veggies, and other things directly from the earth.


And, then, make an intentional decision to enjoy the other food. As soon as you have the ability to be back in control of your food, jump right back into your good habits.


“What can I eat quickly and easily in an airport, bus terminal, or at a gas station?”  


Three-five hard boiled eggs. This meal can be found at practically every grab-n-go-kiosk at an airport. Takes <two minutes to purchase, five minutes to eat. Provides your body with enough fat to keep you satiated for the next few hours, enough protein to support muscle development.


No eggs available? Go for raw nuts and fruit. You’ll want a small handful of nuts for every 2-4 hours without regular food. If you’re active / muscular, feel free to add 1 or 2 pieces of fruit. Opt for water instead of soft drinks. 


“What if I start to feel insecure, overwhelmed, demotivated?” 


Here are some simple, powerful thoughts that you can consult, or remind yourself of, when you struggle.


  1. “I can quit tomorrow.” 


Instead of telling yourself that you’ll start that positive new habit after this trip, do the opposite. Stay committed today to what you’re already committed to. If you’re still struggling as badly tomorrow, you know you can quit then. 


  1. “If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Precision Nutrition


Negativity, discomfort and struggle will always be lurking nearby, even in our brightest of moments. The question is, can you choose to stop staring at the darkness, and instead, just look at it, acknowledge it, then turn your thoughts to the great things that are happening for you? 


For example: the fact that you’re even attempting to make changes; 

that you’ve made it this far; 

that you have people in your life who love you; 

that your impact on Earth has already changed people’s lives, and will continue to do so;

that this is a journey worth being on … 

are all wonderfully positive, honest facts of your life. 


  1. Exercise. 


Go for a run, or connect with me for a special equipment-free workout program that you can use on your phone – anytime, anywhere. The burst of feel-good endorphins that you’ll release from your workout will help you feel a little less crappy. Depending on the intensity of your workout, food that you consume after a workout may be shuttled to muscles, instead of stored as fat. That’s a wonderful bonus. 


  1. “We gain positive energy, confidence and resilience after and because we act, not the other way around.” – Dr. Krista Scott-Dixon. 


If you need to, revisit your DreamBody Journal. Why are you on this journey? What other areas of your life will benefit when you stick to your goals, no matter how imperfect the journey is? 


  1. If you’re feeling like you need to binge on food or booze, but know you’ll regret it later, try to set a timer for 10-30 minutes. 


Promise yourself that you won’t eat until that time is up. During that interval, drink some water, and try munching on high-fiber foods, like vegetables, oatmeal, beans, or a sweet potato. Doing so will help fill you up without adding unnecessary, junk calories to your body. 


If you still want to eat that food when your timer is up, allow yourself to do so, without shame. See if you can keep track of how long it takes you to eat the food or drink the booze. Make a note of it. 


The next time that craving strikes, set a goal to double the amount of time you’ll take to consume the same quantity. In doing so, you may realize that by slowing down your eating, you enjoy the food or alcohol more, and are more present with your feelings. This may empower you to feel satisfied and calm down, which in turn could allow you to eat or drink less, without feeling deprived. 


  1. Make a conscious, deliberate decision to just enjoy the damn thing. You can always regroup when you’re back in your routine. 


“How do I log mystery food?”

Here are my suggestions when it comes to logging food that you didn’t prepare and may not be familiar with, using My Fitness Pal. 


1) IDEAL SCENARIO – PLANNING AHEAD (not always possible/realistic).


Identify ahead of time (if the menu is online, or if you’re familiar with the restaurant or cook already) what items are on the menu / table that you’re considering. Plug them into My Fitness Pal. Usually, there will be several different options that pop up. 


How do you choose the right one? 


It’s a three step process. 


  1. A) Click the option about 3/4 of the way to the top of the screen, on the right side of the screen, that reads “(checkmark icon) only”.


If a variety of options pop up, that’s great. You should only consider these, and proceed on to B) and C), explained below. 


If options do NOT pop up for A), then go back to your earlier search, disregard the “(checkmark icon) only” option, and skip ahead to complete B) and C), below. 


  1. B) Do a quick visual scan up and down the entries available for the food you’ve searched for. Identify what the highest-calorie entry is, and then identify the lowest-calorie entry. You’ll want to find something roughly in the middle, since we do need to do a little bit of guesswork in this case. 


Once you’ve found that middle entry, click it to pop it open. 


  1. C) Use the knowledge you already have about nutrition, to identify if the entry looks reasonably accurate. One of the biggest red flags for a problem entry is when you know the dish has at least some cheese, cream, or oil-based sauce, which means it must have at least several (and probably more) grams of fat. If the entry you’re looking at just lists calories, or carbs and proteins, but NOT fat, then, you’d know it’s leaving out something very important. So, you would skip this entry. You would go back and repeat options B) again, and then C), until you find something that seems like the most educated guess you can make. 



2 ) BACKUP OPTION – AFTER THE FACT. If you didn’t apply the above steps in advance of your dinner/meal/snack, don’t worry. You can totally apply these steps afterwards. You may run the risk of being surprised by the calorie/fat/carb content of the foods you just ate, after the fact. But, that’s a small price to pay if it leads to learning. (And I still use this method, all the time.) 


Simply go through steps A), B) and C) above, using your memory regarding what you ate earlier. 


PRO TIP: You can also take photos of your food! That way you can more accurately account later on for what you ate, without worrying about remembering.